Life of a SEO PM is a life which makes everyone equally inquisitive. Be it the mother, the wife, the offspring, the business owner (i.e. boss of SEO PM), his executives and his clients. They all continuously try to demystify this uncanny creature who tries to earn a living by ranking high on Google search results. This entity has invoked my curiosity as well, for a long time. To understand this person better, I decided to live a day during the weekdays (not the weekends) with a colleague who works as a SEO PM. I didn’t tell him of my intentions and he was happily agreed to find someone who is interested in him.
When does his day begin is a curious question to start with. In India, as most of the works are outsourced from the USA, so my SEO PM stays awake all night, communicating with the client, tolerating his threats not to make further payments, his abuses for a fallen ranking, boss’ constant reminder of a failure in improved performance may lead to termination, fights a flaunt stomach which has been damager irreversibly due to this nocturnal lifestyle and of course the sleep. He smokes and drinks coffee/tea to stay awake all night. And when he returns home at 7 AM in the morning he goes to sleep.
There he dreams of all keywords going “not found”, Google launching a new update affecting 2.3% queries, his executive quitting without notice, boss deducting his salary. My SEO PM was murmuring a lot of things when he was sleeping. I tried to listen carefully, “no sir, the keywords back to first page soon”, “I am not sleeping but thinking”, “damned $&%^&% Google, another update” so on and so forth. He sleeps uneasily all the time, shifting constantly and making sounds which might be some vague words.
When he woke up, he is clueless where he is, what is he doing and what are his purposes in life. Sitting blankly, he becomes a philosopher and thinks of his college days when there was no worry except for his girlfriend and pocket money. A deep sigh comes out, a drop of tear rolls down when he suddenly wakes up to the reality.
He starts getting ready for the work and soon there is a call from a scared colleague, “do you know there was a Google update this morning, all my major keywords went not found”. His heart starts to beat faster, he is breathing unevenly. “Should I start looking for another job?” is what he thinks all the time while getting ready to the office. Two times he had to return after starting for the office because once he forgot to wear shoe (and was wearing sleepers) and once he forgot to lock his main door. On his way to office, three times he crossed road without checking the road lights. Twice he missed a running bus hitting him by a whisker. That is how much pre-occupied he was about his work.
When he reaches his work, enters the brightly lit building, with all the people looking steadily at the monitors in front of them, he wakes up. He runs to his PC, collides with the office boy, reaches his seat and opens his PC. His executives, all of whom has heard of the updates, all are already sitting and waiting for orders like soldiers. “Get all the updated ranking NOWWWW, he shouts”. And all starts working.
After 40 minutes of fanatic searching, they are able to find ranking of all the keywords. Now the SEO PM opens his emails. There are 9 emails from clients asking why the rankings are not good. 3 from the boss asking for a meeting as soon as he is available in the office with clarification why he is not able to improve the ranking. The SEO head has sent 5 links of must-read articles on which he must read to survive in this organisation, the content writer has sent new article but his old articles were rejected (the writer is probably underpaid) and the writer needs new links. Extremely frustrated, he comments, “when the hell should I work if I need to read this much of articles everyday? From now on, I must write reading article as a task in my daily work report.”
There is another point of perception. But probably this can be best expressed using this image.
And this is how each day passes for a SEO PM. Don’t think of negative effects only, handling this type of situation makes them extremely tough mentally and clever. For example, if it is a night journey and you have only a seating class chair, a SEO PM can easily do it. That is what they do, sit all night. Or, when they just don’t want to come to office, the excuses they make are beyond the normal thinking procedure of any other man. They know how to survive in difficult situations. They can run without food, they can run without sleep and often without water (when the freezer runs out of water at night and there is none to re-fill it).
Honour these poor souls my friend, for you don’t know what they are doing (and they don’t know what you are doing as well because they sleep all day). Remember, whenever you see your keyword ranking well, remember, somewhere in this world a SEO PM escaped death, sacrificed sleep, read 5 articles and didn’t even drink water to take you there.